Wednesday, 9 May 2018

A professional development opportunity at Glenbrae Primary.

Professional Learning Meeting - Ministry Facilitator for Supporting Writing Mary Wootton

In my role as an across school COL's teacher, I am always looking for opportunities to meet with my colleagues in our primary schools to see how we can support each other in our inquiries.  Recently I was invited by Elfrida Raj, DP at Glenbrae Primary School to attend one of their staff PLD sessions held in their staffroom.  One of the key areas of focus for Glenbrae, is raising the achievement of their learners in writing.

Glenbrae Primary is focussing on Writing.
The senior leadership team has enlisted the help of Mary Wootton, who is the Ministry Facilitator for Supporting Writing to drive and lead professional development for teachers.  Staff have engaged in learning observations, collected diagnostic and formative data and collaborated over strategies that work.

The particular session I attended focussed on peer and teacher feedback and how effective feedback can support a child's writing.  Mary Wooton asked staff to think strengths, surprises and challenges with regards to how students' provided peer feedback and it was interesting to hear how brutally honest students were on each others work!.

Mary Wooton's PLD reflecting on Feedback.
One of the activities we did as a group, was to look at the best and not-so-best examples of feedback provided on a students piece of writing by the teacher.  We had to put in order which feedback was the most productive for the child and offered deeper levels of support.
Teachers collaborating to decide which feedback could be the most effective.
I found this exercise really useful in seeing the levels of feedback that children received and how important it was to ensure that feedback was also feed forward.  I found the meeting beneficial and valuable in my efforts to find a way of improving writing across our cluster.  I have attached my meeting notes and the parts I've highlighted in blue, are ones I want to focus on.  Thank you Elfrida, Lesley and the team at Glenbrae Primary for being so welcoming!

(Here is Elfrida's blog posts which give more insight into the Glenbrae Primary writing journey)

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